By LISA BICKNELL
CV&T News Editor
What is the supreme law of the land? How many U.S. senators are there? How many justices are on the Supreme Court?
How well can you answer basic civics questions?
Beginning with the class of 2019, Kentucky students will have to pass a civics test of 100 questions to receive their high school diploma, according to a new state law.
According to the Kentucky Department of Education’s website: In 2017, the Kentucky General Assembly passed Senate Bill 159. The law reads that beginning in July 2018, a student must pass a civics test composed of 100 questions to graduate from a public high school with a regular diploma. Each local board of education will be expected to prepare or approve an exam that must be composed of questions from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services test. Students are required to score 60 percent or higher and may retake the exam as many times as deemed necessary to pass the test.
While the Estill County Board of Education has not yet approved such an exam, they will in the coming months.
However, some high school teachers are already pre-testing students to get a handle on their current grasp of civics, says Charlotte O’Bryan, gifted and talent coordinator for the Estill County school district and a former social studies teacher at the high school.
“We are already doing some pre-testing to see where we are and how we need to prepare,” O’Bryan said.
Some highlights of the bill include:
Students will have to pass a civics test with 100 questions. The questions are to be drawn from the same test administered by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services those seeking to become naturalized citizens.
The local board of education approves or prepares the test, which is administered through the high schools.
Students must pass the test to receive a high school diploma, but they will have as many opportunities as necessary to take the test.
Students must get at least 60 percent of the questions on the test correct to pass.
Any student who has passed a similar test within the previous five years does not have to take the test again to graduate.
The test is subject to requirements and accommodations of a student’s individualized education program.
Any student, parent or any individual wishing to brush up on their knowledge of civics may access the test online at: https://www.uscis.gov/citizenship/teachers/educational-products/100-civics-questions-and-answers-mp3-audio-english-version.